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History of

Tang Soo Do

At its core, Tang Soo Do is essentially a Korean form of Japanese karate. Literally translated, the word Tang means T'ang Dynasty of China, which reflects the shared cultural background between China and Korea (617-907 AD). Soo means hand, but it implies fist, punch, strike, or defence, etc. Do means way of life or art. Thus Tang Soo Do means " The way of the Chinese Hand". For a full history, visit the wiki page.


Below is a rough time line in the development of Tang Soo Do and our association:

1800's Okinawan Un-armed combat styles emerge 


1868 Ginchin Funakoshi Born 


1907 Won Kuk Lee Born 


1914 Hwang Kee Born 


1939 Shotokan Officially Formed by Ginchin Funakoshi 


The 5 Korean Kwans


1944 Won Kuk Lee

         Chung Do Kwan School teaches " Tang Soo Do"


1944 Byung Jick Bo

        Song Moo Kwan


1945 Hwang Kee

        Hwa Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan

        Adopts "Tang Soo Do"


1946 Sang Sup - Chun Jido Kwan


1946 Lee Nam Suk andKim Soon Bae

        Chang Moo Kwan


The Second Generation Kwans


1954 Kyo Yoon Lee

        Han Moo Kwan


1955 Choi Hong Hi and Nam Tae Hi

        Oh Do Kwan


1956 Hong Jong-Pyo and Chul Hee Park

        Kang Duk Won


1956 Young won Lee

        Jung Do Kwan


1945 Jae Joon Kim born


1952 Hwang Kee forms The " Korean Tang Soo Do  Association"


1954 General Choi Hong Hi performs a Tang Soo Do demonstration for Rep. Of Korea president Rhee Syngmar.Syngmar pushes for Korean title based on the ancient korean art of "Taekyon"


1960 Hwang Kee Korean Soo Bhak Do Association


1961 The Majority of the Kwans start to use the name "Tae Soo Do"


1963 Desmond Galligan born.


1965 General Choi hong hi forms "Korean Tae Kwan Do Association". He offered a merger with Hwang Kee's "Korean Tang Soo Do association" but Hwang Kee refused.

Tang Soo Do declines in popularity as Tae Kwon do is named a national sport.


1990 Chuck Norris forms "Chun Kuk Do"


1990 Des Galligan establishes Tang Soo Do in Ireland Under Jae Joon Kim


1995 Hwang Kee renames " Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan" to "Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan" offically


2002 Hwang Kee passes away, his son Hwang Hyun Chul is named successor


2002 World Moo Duk Kwan Federation founded by 1st generation Students of Hwang Kee


2007 Jae Joon Kim passes away


2012 World Tang Soo Do General Federation invites various Tang Soo Do Leaders to the Seoul to unify the splintered groups. Names various Regional Representative.


2014 Martial Arts illustrated inducts Des Galligan into the Hall of Fame

Grand Master Hwang Kee

Founder of

Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan

Grand Master Jae Joon Kim

Dan # 38

President of the Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation

Hwang Kee grandmasterjjkim2 Gm Hwang Kee,Gm Jae Joon Kim, M Chuck Norris

Grand Masters Jae Joon Kim and Hwang Kee with

Chuck Norris

Korea 2012 (158)

Master Des Galligan

President of the Moo Duk Kwan General Federation

Seoul Forum 2012